Ross Perot Jr. ’77 to speak at commencement

Ross Perot Jr. 77 speaking at the school
Ross Perot Jr. ’77 speaking at the school
PHOTO / Development Office

Ross Perot Jr. ’77 is this year’s Commencement speaker for the school, which will take place May 30. Perot Jr. has made many contributions to the school, including being President of the Board of Trustees from 2004 to 2006 and serving on the board from 1992 to 2016. 

“(Ross Perot Jr.) graduated St. Marks in 1977,” Nolan Marcus, the 2024 Senior Class President, said. “He then left the military, took over his father’s business and has done extremely well.”

Ross Perot Jr., the son of Ross Perot, founder of Electronic Data Systems, is the chairman of The Perot Group and founded Perot Systems Corporation. Perot Jr. also served in the US Air Force after graduating from Vanderbilt University, which influenced the decision to select Perot Jr. to speak at Commencement. 

“I think that people who have served in the military have really great stories,” Marcus said. “They understand a lot of the really important aspects of St. Mark’s, so military values and St. Mark’s values go hand in hand.” 

Perot Jr. shares values with the school such as integrity and teamwork. Perot Jr. is also a visionary, being involved in innovative projects such as the creation of autonomous taxi drones. 

“To me what makes Ross Perot special is that he has always brought others along with him and has made others better as a result of it,” Alex Eshelbrenner said, Senior Director of Alumni Engagement. 

Perot Jr. is a distinguished figure on a global scale, having earned the Extraordinary Service Gold Medal Award, the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service and other accolades. Perot Jr. also led the project to construct the United States Air Force Memorial in Washington D.C. When being considered for Commencement speaker, these acts of public service helped elevate his candidacy. 

“(Perot Jr.) values history, the sciences, academics, the military,” Eshelbrenner said. “When somebody’s involved in all of them, that’s somebody that’s dynamic. To me, when boys and our students get to hear from guys like that, that’s what’s special.”

Apart from public service, Perot Jr. has had other achievements such as being the first to circumnavigate the globe in a helicopter in 1982 and also chairs Hillwood, a real estate development company leading on the global stage. 

“I wanted someone who is a really prominent figure in the community,” Marcus said. “Not just in our community, but the Dallas community and international community.” 

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